Sen. Feinstein Introduces California Drought-Relief Bill Worth $1.3 Billion

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Fields of carrots are watered in Kern County March 29, 2015, when the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountain range hit an unprecedented low. California’s drought, in its fourth year, is going from bad to worse, with water levels expected to be the lowest on record. (Credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

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California Sen. Dianne Feinstein filed a drought-relief bill Wednesday afternoon that would spend $1.3 billion over the next 10 years on water storage, desalination and other projects in the Golden State.

But the Democrat, whose ability to broker compromise is seen as a key to hatching a bipartisan deal, said she had “no clue” whether House Republicans would support the bill and did not appear to engage extensively with them in crafting it.

“The House Republicans did their own bill and we did our bill,” she said.

Congress has been unable to agree on drought legislation since California’s drought began four years ago, in large part because Republicans and Central Valley farmers have clashed with Democrats and environmentalists over whether to alter environmental rules.

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